March 08, 2015

Anthony Davis causes problems for the Milwaukee Bucks, but Jabari Parker seems poised to do the same to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Parker will try to give the Bucks an answer for Davis as they try to beat the Pelicans for just the third time in a decade Saturday night.

Milwaukee (27-38) has lost 17 of 19 against New Orleans, including six straight while giving up an average of 105.2 points on 48.7 percent shooting, including 45.7 from 3-point range.

The Bucks allowed the Pelicans (24-40) to connect on 17 of 31 from beyond the arc in a 116-99 road loss Jan. 23, part of an overall 8-13 stretch that's practically ended their postseason chances and put them at the bottom of the Central Division.

Davis has done a lot of damage over the last four matchups, averaging 28.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.8 blocks. The All-Star power forward had 43 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 114-103 win in the most recent visit to Milwaukee on March 9, 2015.

The Bucks are hoping Parker can slow him down after he only managed 10 points at New Orleans two months ago. The rookie forward enters this one averaging 23.8 points over the last five home games, including a season-high 36 in a 128-121 win over Houston on Feb. 29.

Parker is also getting help up front from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has put up 22.2 points and 8.2 assists per game over the past five games. He had 29 points against the Pelicans at home last year, but he only scored 10 earlier this season.

Parker and Antetokounmpo combined for 47 points and Khris Middleton added 22 with eight assists and seven boards in Wednesday's 114-108 win over Miami.

"We just wanted to stay with it, execute down the stretch," Middleton said of Milwaukee's 34-23 fourth-quarter scoring edge. "We haven't been doing that lately. We finally got back to doing it, and it worked out for us."

Middleton is averaging 24.1 points over the last seven, and he scored 22 with seven boards and five assists at New Orleans in January.

The Pelicans are surrendering 109.6 points per game while dropping six of seven games. They're also among the worst road teams in the NBA at 7-25, losing four straight after falling 121-114 in overtime at Memphis on Friday.

They opened this five-game trip with a 122-113 defeat at Charlotte on Wednesday.

Davis has done his part on this trip, scoring 40 points with 13 rebounds against the Hornets and getting 25 and 13 versus the Grizzlies. He's averaging 31.3 points and 11.8 boards over the last four games overall.

The Pelicans are also wasting outstanding efforts from Jrue Holiday, who's totaled 72 points and 16 assists on the trip. Holiday had 13 points and nine assists against Milwaukee two months ago.

The Bucks will be without guard O.J. Mayo for the rest of the season after he broke his right ankle falling down stairs at his home Thursday. Mayo averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 assists in 26.6 minutes during 41 games. He'll likely be replaced by Jerryd Bayless, who averages 10.7 points and 3.4 assists while starting just eight of 42 games.

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